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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Police shot unarmed civilians after Katrina, officer testifies

Nola

Federal prosecutors have accused New Orleans police of shooting unarmed civilians on the city's Danzinger Bridge days after Hurricane Katrina -- and then trying to cover up the incident. One officer has already entered a guilty plea, and yesterday, he spelled out what he said happened. From the Times-Picayune:

Hunter, 33, said a New Orleans police sergeant fired an assault rifle at wounded civilians at close range after other officers stopped shooting and after it was clear that the police were not taking fire. He also says he saw another officer in a car fire a shotgun at a fleeing man's back, although the man did nothing suggesting he was a threat to police.

That man, the Times-Picayune says, was severely mentally disabled, and he died as a result of the shooting, one of two who were killed. Four others were wounded. The attorneys for the accused police say they didn't do anything wrong and, if anything, feel more confident about their case after this latest development -- though they're not saying why.

Hat Tip: Many thanks, Marvin! (Sorry about the incorrect, earlier HT, Marvin!)

Attorney Daniel Abel stands with Sherrel Johnson, mother of James Brisette, who was killed on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina, after former New Orleans police officer Michael Hunter pled guilty in connection with a police coverup of their shooting of unarmed civilians, outside Federal Court in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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